|One of the
small pleasures in life is doing something that you really
didn't believe would ever be possible, but that has just
happened to me when I paid a visit to the East Anglian
Aviation Museum located in the village of Flixton, just
outside the town of Bungay in the county of Suffolk,
England. There, for the first time in my life I came
face-to-face with a piece of my all-time favourite flying
boat history; their beautifully restored cockpit section of
a genuine Felixstowe F.5 flying boat. Wow, I thought as I
gazed at it, just WOW!
used as a garden shed (! - see the last image here) it was
recovered and lovingly restored by the museum volunteers who
made a superb job of it, as you can see.
it and touching it I was immediately struck by a number of
things; the wood skin is so thin, much thinner than I had
ever thought from seeing all the black & white images over
the years and various plans and certainly only offered
protection from the slipstream; it would never ever stop a
bullet. Secondly, it is large and it's only when you get
alongside it that you begin to realise just how big the
Felixstowe 'boats were in size., something that is not
readily apparent from a 1/72 scale kit. The other thought I
had was the craftsmanship used in the original construction
as the frames and longerons and the multiple stringers are
exquisitely put together; just look at the interior
structure, it's a work of art!
restoration is one of the very, very, few surviving sections
of any Felixstowe 'boat anywhere in the world - apart from
the cut-away F.3 (?) example in the States - but certainly
in the UK and Europe, there is nothing left. So, they must
be heartily congratulated on having the foresight to
undertake this work, doing it so well in the process.
here to go to the museum's website and if you
find yourself looking for a museum to visit, you must go as
there, as so much else is on display - it's packed with
thousands of aviation related artefacts and real aircraft.